Account aggregation is one of the first forms of fintech as we know it today. The technology emerged in wealth management to give financial advisors a more complete view of their clients’ held away accounts to increase assets under management and provide more holistic advice. As aggregation became more consumer-facing with the emergence of Mint.com in 2006, it sparked the proliferation of fintech. With the rise of fintech came new companies outside of wealth management leveraging the same technology for a slew of use cases.
Traditionally, Quovo and other companies working in our space were referred to as “data aggregators.” However, the term doesn’t accurately represent the full breadth of our technology’s capabilities.
Instead of calling Quovo an “aggregator,” we think of ourselves as a platform for “account connectivity”—we provide businesses with a means to establishing an ongoing relationship with their customers through their financial accounts. One instance of what financial account connectivity looks like in action is:
- A user links their bank account to a personal financial management app to create a budget.
- After the account is initially linked, Quovo helps the app assess the user’s income and spending habits to create a budget. However, that’s not the end of the relationship between the two.
- From there, the app could assess the user’s liabilities. Perhaps the interest rate on a loan is too high, or they have a credit card with an exorbitant APR or yearly fee.
- The app recommends different financial products or refinancing options to save the user money on an ongoing basis.
Account connectivity creates different touch points and opportunities for engaging users after the initial interaction. At the core of connectivity is a continuous relationship with a customer’s financial accounts. What this connectivity and relationship looks like, of course, varies by use case. For example, Quovo’s financial account connectivity enables:
- Online investment platforms, including Wealthfront and Betterment, to provide holistic financial advice to users.
- Personal financial management companies, such as MoneyLion, to tailor their recommendations for financial products to individual users based on their financial behaviors over time.
- Point-of-sale financing platforms, like Sezzle, to avoid non-sufficient funds fees with proactive balance checks before debiting a user’s account.
- Student loan-focused companies, including Payitoff and FutureFuel, to help borrowers and employers and pay off student debt.
- On-demand payroll apps, like Earnin, to identify when a worker receives their paycheck so the app can properly debit the user’s account for funds that have been paid in advance.
Account connectivity may seem foreign to consumers now, but it will become a more central means of how businesses outside of finance foster customer relationships. In the near term, two-sided marketplace platforms that connect buyers and sellers, such as online consignment or artisan shops, could adopt account connectivity to streamline ACH transfers and cut down on card interchange fees. As more companies outside of finance implement fintech solutions into their core, the applications for account connectivity will only multiply.
Interested in learning more about how Quovo’s account connectivity could benefit your business?